Birthdays were big in my little town. Everyone knew everyone else and nobody was left out of the parties. Flossie Smith, the unmarried lady at the bank, sent cards to every kid in town, the upstreet woolworths supplied little paper baskets for mints and peanuts, and most parents copied Ann Van Arnam's smart idea of tying a birthday bow on the celebrant's chair. Cake mixes had just come along and moms were excited by this new luxury - my mom became a specialist at white cake with chocolate frosting sprinkled with walnuts. My best friend Mary and I shared the birthday month of March - with birthdays three days apart. Among my dusty warm memories: Mary's mother Ann walking me home after Mary's party and reminding me that I would never again have just one digit in my age...and to enjoy my last three days in one delightful digit.